Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TT: Spin on the bed

In honor of both the Spin Cycle and Tuesday's Tribute I have chosen to combine the two together and give tribute to that wonderful time machine also known as "The Bed". So, for you Spinners… welcome to Tuesday's Tribute— and you Tributees… here's a fresh Spin for you.

My wife and I made an interesting observation that our bed points on an East/West axis. We observed that because of the rotation of the earth— our feet arrive at our destination before our heads (or is it the other way around)…. All the same, whenever we go to bed at night I have to "reset the bed" because the mattress gets shifted for one reason or another. Sometimes my wife reminds me to push the top mattress back because it has slipped away from the wall (we do not have a footboard, so this is a common occurrence)— and indicates that I need to make sure that it is aligned properly or else "you'll wind up in Berwin or something". The reason why she says this is quite simple— our bed is a time machine.

I don't know about you, but it is very strange that you lie down, close your eyes, and the next thing you know you are at tomorrow. We figure that somehow a portal is opened up after we close our eyes, and our bodies are instantly taken to the next day. The earth rotates on its axis and also travels around the sun. If our angle is off ever so slightly, the portal may open in the wrong place and we may just wind up somewhere else when we wake up. This is why we need to "reset the bed" because if we don't, the portal will be off alignment and we might "wind up in Berwin" by mistake.

Taking this concept a bit further we pondered… what would happen if you went to the North or South Pole and sat on a sit-and spin and spun yourself in the opposite direction of the earths rotation. Would you go back in time… would you age slower… or something else entirely.

small cycle
Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Monday, March 30, 2009

HBSB: Guest Post

OK… for those who are unfamiliar with the acronym I just wrote as a title for this post— some splainin is in order:

There is a blog feature called "He Blogs, She Blogs" currently being run by Petra @ The Wise (*Young*) Mommy, and Captain Dumbass @ Us and Them where people submit questions and they both give their unique take on the questions independently.

There was a contest to get a new "He", and I lost out to the Captain by a landslide (sigh)— but I did get a consolation prize for coming in second place (yea). My prize is that I have been invited to be the "He" today and guest post for the Captain. Not only that, but there is a guest poster on the "She" side as well.

So stop by Us and Them and check out what I have to say… then go over to The Wise (*Young*) Mommy to see what Jen @ Steenky Bee has to say. Enjoy,

Friday, March 27, 2009

F2: Microwave Madness

Welcome again to Friday's Feast. Today I'll be explaining my logic (or lack thereof) when selecting various microwave times. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution.

Those who read my post about Warm Milk may recall my comment:

don't ask me why I choose weird numbers like that for heating times… that's for another post entirely.

… well, this is that post.

Digital representation of time can be confusing at best. How is it that 90 is greater than 100— well on a microwave that is what it is. 100 is interpreted on a microwave as a minute (60 seconds)— whereas 90 is interpreted as 90 seconds… strange huh. I usually have this running though my head whenever I approach the keypad— which compells me to enter something wacky just to piss off the microwave (take that 100/60 second rule).

I know what you're asking: "why then do you pick times such as 22 and 55, or even 222 for microwave times"? You could say that I have ACED (Annal Compulsive Excentric Disorder) and that by picking the same number it makes that number feel special— and thus gives me a sense of ultimate control. But the real truth is… I am just lazy (who wants to search for the zero key when you can just press the same key again).

Here's my general rule of thumb (please don't use your thumb to select times— it gives new meaning to the term "fat fingering"):

  • 22, or 33 seconds works for melting things.
  • 44, 55, or even 66 seconds works for heating liquids in a cup.
  • 111, 222, or even 333 works for heating liquids in a bowl.
  • Oh foo pooh— if you have to adjust something to less than the triple digit number, by all means use as few digits as possible e.g.; 202 instead of 205.
  • Anything over 999 is just crazy (you better start thinking in real times already).

I hope this gives you a better perspective on how to choose a cooking time on a microwave. Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Everything is Different

Anybody familiar with the US constitution knows the line from the preamble:
"We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal"
EQUAL… what does that supposed to mean? Sure, I understand the spirit behind the phrase in that everybody should have an equal opportunity— but I can't help but think that we are approaching it backwards.

I heard it said that space exists so that everything doesn't happen in the same place— and that time exists so that everything doesn't happen all at once. Recognizing this fact helps us to understand that everything is different.

Our bodies are made up of many different cells— each of which is not the same as your neighbors. We are made up of different molecules, we grow at different rates, our DNA is uniquely different than everybody else. Each of us was born in a different place, at a different time. Even identical twins are not the same because they inhabit different places in the universe. We eat different foods at different times than other people. Even if we ate the same foods (even out of the same pot), they are not made up of the same exact molecules. What I find troubling is that many people try to group others together and call them the same.

It is easy to find similarities between people based upon our own observation. This makes it easier for us to recognize people based upon given traits and behaviors. However, once we start categorizing people into groups it isn't long before we start pointing out the discrepancies in those groups only to make ourselves look better. This in itself is not fair to anybody because nobody is the same and nobody is any better than anybody else. Rather than trying to find similarities, I think we should look for everybody's differences instead. So to rephrase the preamble…

"We hold these truths to be self evident that all are created different"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Everything is Changing

So often we want things to stay the same. However, if you think about it everything is constantly changing— nothing is stagnant.

Change is all around us. Our bodies are growing and regenerating cells all the time. The air in which we breath is constantly being recirculated. Even things such as diamonds… were once plants growing on the surface.

Change occurs at different rates. Sometimes we may not notice a change because it happens either to slowly, or is too subtle. Sometimes a change occurs and we are surprised by it because it was unexpected, or is extremely dramatic.

Being that we are changing may effect our perception of change as well. We may not notice our changes because we are focused on something other than change, or are too caught up in other changes around us. We may not notice changes in other people because we are too focused on ourselves, or are ignoring their change because we do not want to address it.

Changes occur in many forms. There are changes in tempo, changes in number, changes in size, changes in dimension, changes in complexity, and even changes in form. There are internal as well as external changes.

Recognizing as well as understanding change helps us to know those changes around us and be able to handle change whenever it profoundly effects us.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spin Cycle: Radio Head

In honor of the Spin Cycle by Sprite's Keeper— I have decided to place my spin on this weeks assignment— Quirks:

Life is one long song… and I'm always singing it

All throughout my life I have always loved to sing. Ask anybody who knows me and they will tell you that I am typically singing something all the time. My mother commented once that she heard me singing out loud when I was walking home from school and could hear me several blocks away and knew I was on my way home. This in itself is not unusual— I know several people who love to sing and sing often. What makes it a quirk is that I tend to sing phrases or parodies based upon situations that I encounter.

Much like singing Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel whenever I am making my way home from the office… there are several other triggers that prompt a song.

When I was working for a library automation software company there was a new format for libary records called ULIF. The software that we supported had no way of exporting in ULIF format, so someone developed a conversion program to convert batch exports from our program called Bat2ULIF. Don't know why I had to sing the song Working my way back to you by The Spinners… "I'm working my way Bat2ULIF"— but I did. Or everytime I hear about the ACUTA conference— I start singing Barracuda by Heart.

Because of this unusual quirk, I tend to call myself a "Radio Head" because I can quote songs from the radio at a drop of a hat for no apparent reason. So the next time you are visiting my home— poke your head into the kitchen while I'm doing dishes and have a listen… who needs a radio when you can have CaJoh.

Friday, March 20, 2009

F2: Artichoke Spaghetti Sauce

Welcome to Friday's Feast. Today I will be presenting you with one of my many inspired recipes. If you don't know what Friday's Feast is all about, please read the Friday's Feast page for a more detailed explanation. If you want to join in on the feast, be sure to leave a comment and include the URL to your post so I and others can know of your contribution.

With inspirations from the 3 R's

I had a can of artichoke hearts that I wanted to make into a dip— but never got round to making. I didn't have any burger meat thawed so I chose to use artichoke instead of meat in the sauce. Knowing the world— I probably have the ounces wrong on the cans and jars… but you get the picture (or at least the sauce). This should cover about 4 servings. Enjoy.

Artichoke Spaghetti Sauce:
2T Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion
1 Clove Garlic
1 Large Can Crushed Tomato (28oz)
1 16oz Can or jar of Artichoke hearts
  1. On Medium Heat, cover the bottom of a medium sauce pan with Olive Oil
  2. Chop the onion and Garlic and add to pan.
  3. Once the onions are transparent, add the can of Crushed Tomato.
  4. Add the entire can or jar of Artichoke
    do not drain.
  5. Break down the Artichoke pieces in the pan.
    You can use a potato masher if you choose.
  6. Simmer on Low and add Oregano and Salt to taste.
  7. Enjoy with your favorite pasta.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Writer's Workshop: I used to think…

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I am taking on Prompt #1:

I used to think…
… that people only like you for what you are.
… that people couldn't like me for who I am.
… that people only know you if there's something in it for them.
… that I would never be married— but am proud to say I will be for 10 years come September.
… that I would never have any followers— boy was I wrong.
… that I could never write "off the cuff"— but now realize that I can do so with ease.
… that my personal philosophy was unique— now I know that it is just described differently.
… that I couldn't come up with enough stuff to make this post interesting to read.
… that I was right— now I'm not so sure about anything.
… now I just do.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spin Cycle: My Warm Fuzzy Story

In honor of the Spin Cycle by Sprite's Keeper— I have decided to place my spin this weeks assignment of Creative Writing:

When I was in college I wanted to give someone some warm fuzzies for their birthday (you know those little pom-pom shaped things that you make out of yarn)— but I also wanted to give them the story I remembered from my youth group to go along with them as well. Unfortunately I did not have the story, nor was there this high falootin' thing that we have now a days called "The Internet" so that my minister could send me a copy… so I wound up making up my own story instead. Here is what I came up with:

Once upon a time in a land not too far from our own… there lived two families. One was known as the Fuzzy Family, the other the Prickly Family. Now it was well known throughout the land that the Fuzzy Family was warm and considerate to everyone, while the Prickly Family was cold and malevolent and didn't even tolerate themselves— let alone anyone else.

Mostly these two families lived at opposite ends of the valley and never saw each other. One day a member of the Fuzzy family was lost and found himself at the door of the Prickly home.

He knocked— to which one of the Prickly family snapped from behind the door… "What do you want!" The Fuzzy answered… "I'm lost and it's cold here. Could you take the time to let me in and show me the way home?" to which the Prickly answered… "It's always cold here, and we don't let ANYONE in you hear!"

Discouraged, the Fuzzy went away. But before he went too far he discovered something unusual in the snow. He decided to pick it up. "OUCH!!" he declared… "this hurts!" But he stood the pain and put the thing in his pocket.

When he finally got home, his sister wondered why he was gone for so long and asked where he had gone. "I just was gone!" he snapped. His sister was very dumbfounded by this, but she also found something on the ground that hurt to the touch.

Eventually, all the Fuzzy family had a Cold Prickly in their possession. This, in turn, made the place where the Fuzzy Family lived very cold. Because of this, the head of the Fuzzy family became very concerned. He gathered all of his family together to find out what has happened to the Fuzzy family.

The family finally came to the conclusion that it was the presence of the Cold Pricklies that made it so different. So, the family decided to make Warm Fuzzies to combat against the onslaught of Cold Pricklies.

Their plan worked. It took care of all the Cold Pricklies that were threatening the lives of the Fuzzy Family. They also decided to give some Warm Fuzzies to the Prickly Family to see if that could change their ways.

Soon everyone in the land was happy and everyone got along with everybody else. And they all lived happily ever after.

The moral to this story is very simple: Be sure to exchange Warm Fuzzies and not Cold Pricklies. Be warm to yourself and to others, and they will be warm to you also— you'll find your life a much warmer place to be in.

Monday, March 16, 2009

100th Post

In honor of my 100th post, I thought I would allow you to get to know more of my Name Category by listing some things to know me by. Since many of you may be new to my blog— I encourage you like Mina's 100th post— to look at my older posts and let me know what you think. Much of my posts up through November 15th of last year I had to twist arms to get people to read. I'm not into giveaways, but I may just give you an "atta-boy" or a "you go girl" as a token of my appreciation.

I never thought I could come up with 100 things about me— but after reading Heinous' 100th post I was inspired to write a running commentary on random things that popped into my head. Warning… there's a possible quiz at the end— so pay attention. Here we go…

  1. My current age is the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything.
  2. I am the youngest of two.
  3. My sister is the only one in our family who does not wear glasses.
  4. I have worn glasses since I was 15.
  5. I have never worn contacts.
  6. I refuse to get laser eye surgery.
  7. My father is the only one in our family without red hair.
  8. My grandfather on my mother's side had a full set of hair.
  9. Why I am balding escapes me.
  10. I cannot tan.
  11. I would much rather have a healthy shade of pink than showing my pale skin.
  12. I got 2nd degree burns on my legs trying to get a healthy shade of pink.
  13. I blamed it on the Acutaine.
  14. Me and Conan O'Brien are not related.
  15. I am not Irish
  16. I am related to the McIlhenny clan
  17. Which is probably why I like Tabasco
  18. I used to hate cooked carrots.
  19. Until I tried them with ketchup.
  20. Sorry Supermommy.
  21. I love Ranch Dressing.
  22. On just about everything.
  23. Except Ranch Dressing.
  24. I am the only one in our family who is left handed.
  25. My 5th grade teacher forced me to write with my right hand.
  26. If you grade my cursive handwriting on my right hand— it is graded at 5th grade.
  27. I created my own printing style in 7th grade.
  28. My cursive handwriting on my left hand is graded at 7th grade.
  29. I use chopsticks with my right hand.
  30. I play all sports right-handed.
  31. Except for shooting pool.
  32. I have never left this country (USA).
  33. The first time I flew in an airplane was when I was 13.
  34. The first time I traveled alone was when I was 15.
  35. The furthest north I have been is Highway 2 in upper Michigan.
  36. The furthest south I have been is Prince Edward Island in Florida.
  37. The furthest east I have been is Chincoteague Island in Virginia.
  38. The furthest west I have been is San Francisco California.
  39. At last count I have over 50 nicknames.
  40. Some of which you already know.
  41. Some of which you may never know.
  42. I'd tell you some— but…
  43. I'd have to kill you first.
  44. If you can name all of them you are either paying attention.
  45. Or you found my list and are cheating.
  46. I have never lived outside of Illinois.
  47. Excluding moving into the dorms for college, I have only moved three times.
  48. I graduated 150th out of 300 from high school.
  49. I graduated college with a 4.5 on a 5 point scale.
  50. I have had 10 roommates within the 5 years I attended college.
  51. I was a super senior.
  52. I have two bachelors degrees.
  53. Why Music Education is considered a Bachelors of Science degree escapes me.
  54. Why Sound Engineering is considered a Bachelors of Arts degree escapes me as well.
  55. I gave a demonstration speech on how to tie a tie.
  56. I know the difference between a single and double Windsor.
  57. I know how to tie a bow tie.
  58. I know how to use a strait razor.
  59. No, I did not slit my wrists with it.
  60. I have been knocked unconscious twice in my life.
  61. Once falling off a tornado slide.
  62. My sister thought she killed me.
  63. The other falling off a tree swing.
  64. I woke up watching Spiderman.
  65. I can count on my hands the number of women I have gone steady with.
  66. I dated a woman who had the same name as me.
  67. I dated a woman who had the same birthday as me.
  68. They are not the same person.
  69. My grandson was born on my birthday.
  70. No… I did not date my grandson.
  71. I never dated anyone more than 3 months.
  72. Until I met my wife.
  73. We celebrated after being together 4 months.
  74. We celebrated our 150th Mo-versary of when we met.
  75. March 15th.
  76. I have names for all my stuffed animals.
  77. I met a girl who never named her stuffed animals.
  78. I got her a stuffed animal of a Mamma and baby kangaroo.
  79. For Christmas.
  80. I told her to give it a name.
  81. She named the Mama Kangaroo Chris.
  82. She named the baby little muss.
  83. I read bedtime stories.
  84. To my wife.
  85. She falls asleep every time.
  86. Are you bored yet…
  87. WAKE UP!!!!!
  88. Exacto knives and I do not get along.
  89. I once cut the tip of my finger off with one.
  90. I sliced my knuckle another time just removing the blade.
  91. I have a scar on my ankle.
  92. You'll never guess how I got it.
  93. Oh come on guess…
  94. Fine, don't guess.
  95. I still won't tell you.
  96. Because if I did…
  97. see above.
  98. I have posted 100 times.
  99. but you already knew that.
  100. Looking forward to the next 100.

Wasn't that fun… If you would like me to expand on anything I mentioned in future posts— let me know.

Quiz time: (oh s%!t— I didn't study)

  • What is the line I repeated?
  • This is not a trick question.
  • What do you mean I didn't… I thought I did.
  • Explain why or why not.

Thank you all for reading— I truly appreciate your attentiveness.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Mo-versary

As many of you are familiar with the story of how I met my wife— my wife and I met on a Sunday. For all the years that I dated, I never went steady with anybody for more than three months. I must have told my now wife this while we were dating because after we had been going out for four months we went out to celebrate our four month mo-versary.

We went to Green Dolphin Street and had dinner there. At one point during dinner she gave me a card which wished me a happy four months together and wishing many more to come.

Given that I met my wife when I was 29 and didn't get married until I was 32— it didn't seem likely to us that we would be celebrating our 75th wedding anniversary together. So I figured if we can't celebrate the number of years we were married… why not celebrate the many months that we have known each other.

So to my wife— Here is wishing you a very happy 150th Mo-versary, and wishing you many happy more to come.

Friday, March 13, 2009

F2: An Introduction to Friday's Feast

Some of you may have heard me mention that I would like to develop my own recurring feature post. Well… here is my attempt at doing something on a regular basis and having everybody join in the fun. I call this feature: "Friday's Feast".

The whole idea behind Friday's Feast is to promote all things food. The way that you can join in the feast is as follows:

Every Friday I will post a topic for the following weeks post. If you want to participate in that next week's Feast, just leave a comment and be sure to include a direct link to your post. I will then gather up the links and put them in that next post. The best part of this is that you can leave a comment at any time (even after the next week's post has been posted)— as well as linking to any post that you have written (even if it was from long ago, or in the future).

Some broad topics that I have thought of are:

  • Celebrity chefs
  • Cooking disasters
  • Cooking shows
  • Favorite and/or not so favorite foods
  • Food allergies
  • Food commercials you love and/or hate
  • Food facts
  • Product placement
  • Recipes
  • Restaurant reviews
  • Stories about eating

… and the list goes on and on. Hopefully that will give you some idea as to the kinds of topics we will cover. I always welcome more ideas, so leave a comment to let me know if there is any other topic that you would like to use.

Speaking of participation… if you want to show your badge of courage and flaunt your participation— I have created a cruel badge that you can use. Just snag the code from the sidebar on the right or at the bottom of this post. If anybody wants to create one for me I would be eternally grateful. What I'm looking for is something that looks like two chunks of food shaped like the letter F frying in a pan. The more appetizing and real looking the better.

Since I love uniqueness— I will be using the abbreviation F2: instead of FF: and I encourage you to do the same. I want to use this abbreviation mostly because there are a lot of double letter memes out there that use FF: (Friday Fun, Freaky Friday, Far-out Friday, Fantastic Friday, etc., etc.)… and I want this one to be quickly found when you do a search. Of course, you can also use Friday's Feast: in your title if you choose.

I haven't yet determined when I'll be posting my posts. Most likely I'll be scheduling my posts to occur Friday at midnight Central Time so you can wake up on Friday and start planing your weekend.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sometimes a stranger is better company than a friend

So often we look for support from those who know us well. Sometimes that support is not as helpful because those who know us well may only say things we want to hear rather than what we need to hear.

I got a phone call from my mother one Sunday night telling me that my uncle had collapsed, was taken to the hospital and was currently in a coma. From previous experiences with my wife's family, I am familiar with what that meant and knew that the inevitable would happen. Being that my wife is older than I she has experienced the loss of an elder such as a parent or an uncle— whereas this was my first elder to have this happen to.

By the time Tuesday rolled around, I still had not heard any word about my uncle's status and it troubled me that I wasn't as effected as I thought I should. I gave a co-worker a call to see if they thought this was normal— and as I was explaining that my uncle collapsed I hear "get over here!" on the other end. I went over to their desk and I explained again. They hadn't lost an elder either— and would probably be devastated since they are very close to all their aunts and uncles. I thanked them for lending an ear and proceeded to get back to work.

The next day I had to chuckle a bit seeing the subject of the e-mail "How's your Uncle?" from my fellow co-worker— but I knew what it meant. I was honored by how a simple followup could be such a powerful show of support— especially from someone who is not my friend.

My uncle did pass that Thursday and I thanked my co-worker for their show of support. I am glad that some people can be that stranger to those in need.

Sometimes a stranger is better company than a friend
I can be your stranger


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: Ivan The Great

In honor of Tuesday's tribute I am highlighting poetry and how arranging words according to simple patterns can have such a profound effect on both the reader and the author.

This is one of those poems where the first letter of each line spells out something. This particular poem spells out what the poem is about— as well as the name of the poem itself:

I am Ivan the Great
victory is my only mate.

an unbeatable man upon the field
no soul can challenge my dauntless shield.

To fight the battle beneath the sun
however challenging 'til I have won
ever more I fight until they're done.

Gallant journeys I make
rowing from shore to shore.

endless treasures to take
and makes me all the more…

to always store my endless hate.


Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pretty vs. Beautiful

When describing people I have seen that many use the terms Pretty and Beautiful interchangeably. I have used distinct definitions of these words for many years and would like to show you how I use these terms to describe people:

Ah, the pretty people. These are the ones that are also called "eye-candy" to me. They seem too good to be true and appear quite shallow in their attitudes towards others. I am not saying that people who look good are always the pretty ones— but rather those who are immature and appear to only be "what you see is what you get" types.
It is said that "beauty is only skin deep"— but I tend to think of it as the opposite in that beauty is what is inside and not what is on the outside. People who have a depth of character are beautiful to me. I also feel that beauty is representative in how mature you are. If you have a mature outlook on life— then you have a beautiful way of seeing things.

One way of looking at the differences is through an alliteration— Pretty Petty and Beautiful Being. Those who are pretty are also petty— and those who are beautiful know how to just be.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Smart vs. Intelligent

I had a high school history teacher who told us that there is a difference between being smart and being intelligent. I forget what their explanation was— but the fact there is a difference stuck with me.

Smart people are the ones who can give you all the facts and figures about things. I consider these types of people good at trivia. They are very good at reciting all the capitals to all the third world countries that gained their independence since 1970. All of this is very impressive and shows that you know a lot of things. These kind of people are very good at test taking because they can memorize the answers.
People who are intelligent tend to know more about the big picture rather than the details. These are the kinds of people who take what they learn and apply it to everyday life. They tend to find connections in things that most people overlook. This makes them very good at problem solving because they can find many applicable solutions rather than insisting on there being only one right answer.

I do not think that anybody who falls into these categories should be labeled as such. These categories are more the tenancies that I find people behaving like. We all can be smart as well as intelligent— even though we may lean more towards one way than the other.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kat's Clam Chowder

With inspirations from Kat

My step-daughter used to work at a coffee shop which served soup— one of which was clam chowder. My wife loved this soup so much that she asked her daughter to get the recipe from the owner. What we got was the resturant version which is enough for around 20 servings. I reduced the amounts to be able to fit in an average size soup pot.

New England Clam Chowder:
2T Olive Oil
½ Yellow Onion
2-3 Celery Stalks (De-stringed)
2-3 Cloves Garlic
3 12oz cans of Baby Clams
2-4 Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
2T Butter
2T Flour
1-2 stalks Italian Flat Parsley
White Pepper
  1. On Medium Heat, cover the bottom of your soup pot with Olive Oil
  2. Chop the onion, celery, and garlic and add to pan.
    Try not to let them get browned
  3. Drain the clams.
    Save the juice
  4. Refigerate the clams while preparing the soup base.
  5. Add the clam juice to the vegetables.
  6. Cover and simmer on low.
  7. Peel and dice the potatoes.
  8. Add potatoes to clam/vegetable stock.
  9. Add enough water to cover potatoes by about an inch.
  10. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer on low.
  11. When potatoes are tender, add the whipping cream.
    be sure to stir to avoid a skin
  12. Add the almighty clams to the chowder and continue to simmer on low.
  13. Mix the butter and flour together to form a smooth paste.
  14. Stir the blended butter into the chowder stirring thoroughly.
  15. Add the minced parsley and white pepper to taste.
    No need to add salt— there is enough salt in with the clams
  16. Enjoy

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Normal is…

In honor of Mamma Kat's Writer's Workshop I am taking on Prompt #2:

Normal is…

… just a word made by people to help point out our differences. If we begin to understand that everybody is different, then we cannot fully comprehend what "Normal" is. We could get overly technical and insist that it "falls within given parameters" but even that requires some sort of quantification.

I do not think that if people want us to be unique they use a term such as Normal to describe themselves and others. I like using the term average rather than normal to describe myself. There really isn't anything that stands out with me— either good or bad. If not standing out is considered normal, than that is what I am as well.

Hey— what are you planning on doing with that axe… what do you mean I have to get off my soap box now…

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do you know what this means…

  1. It means… Blogger lies to you and makes you nervous.
  2. It means… This is actually my 91st post.
  3. It means… I have WAY too many drafts.
  4. It means… I have to be very careful when I post from now on.
  5. It means… I can't believe I wrote that many posts.
  6. It means… I created this post just to get that number.
  7. It means… Aloha (a whole lot more than hi).
  8. It means… my 100th post is coming soon.
  9. It means… be scared… be very scared.
  10. It means… ya'll come back now ya'hear

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: Boots of Impunity

No… this is not a post like Mina's husband who took pictures of his socks and sent them to her from his cell phone— nor is this like Mommy's Martini who wonders "Where in the World Are My Feet"… but rather this is a post about my Boots of Impunity.

I used to have a pair of snowmobile boots that I got when I was in college. I recently pulled them out of my parents closet so I could go sledding with the kids, but also used them for my commute to work. I called them my boots of impunity because I could walk through anything with them on without worry. Sometime last winter they developed a crack along the sole and I quickly realized just how fearless I was with the boots on. Once patching the then 18 year old boots with duct tape looked too tacky— I got the pair pictured above.

I realized that the experiences of wearing these boots was analogous with many of life's experiences as well. Rather than pointing out a few selective analogies and narrowing your view— I will only describe the experiences and let you draw your own conclusions:

  • Having the boots on made me feel impervious to the effects of the weather.
  • If I wore my pants on the outside of the boot I typically got my pant legs wet.
  • If it was raining heavily, I would still get my legs wet even though my feet were dry.
  • Very deep puddles would still get my feet wet if I was not careful.
  • When the crack developed in the boot I walked more gingerly than I would with ordinary shoes on.
  • Even after getting the new boots, I still walked gingerly for a while until I trusted the new boots.
  • Deep snow drifts were not a problem if my pants were worn on the outside of the boot.
  • When walking in uneven ground after a snowstorm, I would notice that my socks would soon slip down off my ankles and over my heel.
  • In warmer weather I could balance on one foot and put the sock back on— but in colder weather I usually bore the internal embarrassment and waited until I was inside before putting my sock back on.
  • I could not walk as fast on ice as I would on snow.
  • In very cold weather my feet still got cold.
  • If I did not have a change of shoes I would feel overheated when inside.
  • Many times I chose not to wear the boots inside even if I got my feet wet from the puddles made by the boots.
  • I wound up bringing an extra pair of socks just in case.

Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

2009 Spaghetti Dinner

If you like spaghetti, the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church will be hosting their annual spaghetti dinner. All proceeds go to our Honduras project which helps provide education opportunities to Honduran children who typically do not get any education beyond 7th grade. I'm including the information about the event below in case you want to come:

Children under 10 $3.00
Meat or vegetarian sauce will be served

Saturday, March 6, 2009
4:30 to 8:00 pm
Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church
4511 N. Hermitage
Chicago, IL

I look forward to seeing you there.

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